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Plaster figure of a horse, by Vincent van Gogh, after a plaster statuette by Théodore Géricault

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oil painting on cardboard, 33,5 x 41 cm, 1886,Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, inv. F 216c

plaster statuette, 24,7 x 26,5 x 9,5 cm, 1870-1880 (original ca. 1810), Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Vincent van Gogh made this painting as an excercise in painting the horse, while he was studying at Fernand Cormon’s workshop in Paris. He spent three months there in the spring of 1886. The statuette by Théodore Géricault was often used as a teaching model in workshops of painters because of the anatomy and the movement of the horse. This example makes clear how important the correct rendering of the horse was for artists and it indicates the mastership of Théodore Géricault on this subject.